Allen High Football Stadium Puts Blame on the Cracks
Its $60 million high school football stadium, with a three-tiered press box that juts above the Texas horizon, has been a source of considerable pride in this community north of Dallas ever since the state-of-the-art facility opened its doors less than two years ago.
But if you walk inside 18,000-seat Eagle Stadium these days, it’s impossible to miss the countless cracks, some as wide as three-quarters of an inch, lining the concourse that have made the stadium unfit for public assembly. And now this one-high school community has been forced to deal with the fact that the stadium will be closed for the upcoming football season because of significant structural deficiencies.
“It is a jewel in our community … ” said Larry Kelly, a longtime supporter of Allen High’s football program who moved to the community in 1973. “To hear that it’s closed, it was pretty devastating.”
Not only is Allen grappling with the notion that its back-to-back Class 5A Division I state championship football team will have to play its home games for the upcoming season in neighboring Plano, but many locals have been rankled that the news, announced two weeks ago, provided fuel for critics nationwide.
The construction of the stadium was held up by some nationally as a sign of excess, an alarming next step in a high school facilities arms race in a state where football rivals religion in importance. The same critics cite the structural issues as a prime reason why they say it never should have been built.
Much of the community is in agreement that the stadium issues are embarrassing, just not for the city of Allen or the school district. They say the responsibility rests with Pogue Construction, which built the stadium, and PBK Architects, which designed it.